Miami-Dade voters recall big-spending mayor by 9 to 1 margin
In a stunning recall election Tuesday, Miami-Dade voters recalled mayor Carlos Alvarez by a 9 to 1 margin. The mayor had pushed for a property tax hike and labor contracts with pay hikes for most county employees. Matthew Braggman and Martha Brannigan of the Miami Herald write:
The campaign to recall Alvarez was launched in October by billionaire businessman Norman Braman after Alvarez successfully pushed for a property tax-rate increase to help plug a gaping budget hole. At the same time, Alvarez pushed for labor contracts with employee unions that included pay hikes for most county workers this year. [...]The vote, which shocked many observers by the sheer size of the margin, means an abrupt end for Alvarez, who spent more than $1 million in a futile campaign to avoid recall. The county mayor must vacate his post once the election is certified by the county's three-member canvassing board on Friday
At that point, the county commission must choose whether to appoint a mayor or schedule a special election. The board has 30 days to decide. [...]In 2007 Alvarez launched a successful petition drive in which voters granted him strong-mayor powers, giving him direct control of the county bureaucracy. He was given the increased authority in large part after arguing that only an empowered executive could tame a massive government plagued by scandal and mismanagement.
in August 2009 The Miami Herald disclosed that as Alvarez was calling for shared sacrifice amid the searing economic downturn he handed large raises to close aides, including Chief of Staff Dennis Morales, whose 11 percent pay hike put his yearly salary at $206,783 [...]
In May, Alvarez came under fire for shopping for a new BMW 550i Grand Turismo sedan subsidized by an $800-a-month car allowance. He got the new car even as he already had two Chevy Suburbans to ferry him around on official business. Alvarez - earning a $233,123 salary and $92,187 in benefits - refused to get rid of the car allowance, saying he wasn't "going to do something that is symbolic."
Update: The mayor was a Republican, according to the New York Times.